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Kenwood Excelon KDC-X498

CD receiver

62 Reviews | 3 questions - 12 answers

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Our take on the Kenwood Excelon KDC-X498

Kenwood Excelon receivers are built for great sound, with hot 4-volt preamp outputs for your amps and an impressive array of sound-sculpting tools. The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X498 CD receiver features a built-in HD Radio™ tuner that allows you to haul in local participating stations with dramatically improved sound quality. And Kenwood backs up this versatile receiver with a 2-year warranty.

Kenwood Excelon quality

Kenwood Excelon receivers are built for great sound, with hot 4-volt preamp outputs for your amps and an impressive array of sound-sculpting tools. The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X498 CD receiver features a built-in HD Radio™ tuner that allows you to haul in local participating stations with dramatically improved sound quality. And Kenwood backs up this versatile receiver with a 2-year warranty.

HD Radio for awesome sound

When you tune in a local station broadcasting an HD Radio signal, you'll hear FM that's close to CD quality or AM that comes in clear and static-free. And unlike satellite services, there are no subscription fees. If your iPod's hooked up to the KDC-X498, you can also tag songs that you hear on HD Radio, then buy them later online. And most participating stations send out secondary programming, giving you more choices when you're in the mood for radio.

One versatile USB port

The receiver's front-panel USB port allows you to access and control the music stored on your iPhone® or Android® phone. With your iPhone, you also have control over iHeartRadio® and Pandora® Internet radio stations. And if you have MP3, WMA, or WAV music files on a thumb drive, the USB port can handle those too. Here's a unique feature from Kenwood — Drive Change allows you to connect a memory card reader with multiple cards to the Kenwood's USB input, and select music from up to five cards.

Kenwood KDC-X498 CD receiver

The sleek design and variable display illumination let the KDC-X498 look great in your dash.

The sound and the display

You can use the 3-band parametric equalizer to adjust the centerpoint of your treble, midrange, and bass controls. The low-pass frequency filter and phase control adjusts the bass going to your subwoofer. You can also adjust the variable color display so this Kenwood looks right at home in your dash, while dust covers protect the CD slot, aux input, and USB port.

Want to keep your car's steering wheel audio controls?

In most vehicles, you can use an adapter (not included) to connect your vehicle's steering wheel controls to this Kenwood stereo. Connect a few wires, then program the adapter for your particular car and this Kenwood, and you'll retain the convenience of your steering wheel controls. Check the "Accessories" tab to see a selection of compatible adapters.

iPod/smartphone note: If you're going to use your iPod or smartphone with this receiver, be sure to check "Details" for compatibility information.

Product Highlights:

    General features:
    • CD receiver with AM/FM tuner
    • built-in HD Radio tuner
    • built-in MOSFET amplifier (22 watts RMS/50 peak x 4 channels)
    • plays CDs, CD-Rs, and CD-RW discs including discs loaded with MP3 and WMA music files
    • detachable face with 13-digit LCD display and variable color illumination
    • dust covers for CD slot, auxiliary input, and USB port
    • remote control
    Audio features:
    • System Q-EX Sound Control (8 preset EQ curves and a 3-band parametric equalizer)
    • high-pass filters (speaker and preamp outputs), low-pass filter (sub preamp output)
    • speaker settings that let you tailor the sound to the size and location of speakers in your car
    • Sound Reconstruction improves the sound of files encoded at lower bit rates
    • bass boost
    • built-in iPod, iPhone, and iPad control
    • Pandora and iHeart Radio control with iPhone
    • compatible with Kenwood's Music Control app for select Android phones
    • Drive Change lets you select audio from multiple memory cards in a card reader connected to the USB port
    • inputs: front-panel auxiliary input and USB port
    • outputs: 6-channel preamp outputs (4-volt front, rear, and subwoofer)
    Other features and specs:

    I love it I have a kdc-x498 and it's awesome

    Brandon, Danville, KY

    What's in the Box:

    • CD receiver (10A fuse inserted in chassis)
    • Face (attached)
    • Trim ring (attached)
    • Sleeve (installed)
    • Wiring harness
    • Wireless remote control (RC-406)
    • CR2025 3V lithium-battery (installed in remote)
    • 2 Removal tools
    • Face-fixing screw
    • Instruction Manual (En/Fr/Sp)
    • Warranty Card

    Featured Video:


    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X498 Reviews

    Average Customer Review(s):

    (62 Reviews)

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X498

    Brandon from Danville, KY on 11/19/2016

    I love it I have a kdc-x498 and it's awesome

    Pros: Usb

    Cons: None

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X498

    Anonymous from Rockwood tn.37854 on 1/6/2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great,will buy more from u guys !.



    EASY INSTALL 2009 Altima

    Robert in DFW from Texas on 1/2/2015

    2009 Nissan Altima
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This product was a 2014 Christmas gift for my son and we installed it this way. First, put the dash kit, Receiver and wiring harness together. About 20 minutes.Then 10 minutes to take out stock receiver and had the new receiver installed in another 10 minutes. Very easy install. Nothing hard. It does help to watch an online video on taking out or installing a receiver on your make and model.

    Pros: Easy to navigate to all functions. Great price, sound, features and more....

    Cons: None yet

    Happy with the install & operation

    Steve from Texas on 12/31/2014

    2002 GMC Sierra 1500
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Upgraded wife's truck in addition to mine. Not wanting to learn (2) different operating processes, I got us both the same model. The install in my wife's Toyota Tacoma was easy & fast. Surprisingly, the fit was much tighter in my GMC Sierra. She was ecstatic with the features and listening choices. There were several reviews that complained of display brightness (or lack thereof) - and we can confirm this issue. However, neither of us consider this a show-stopper and we've been happy with all other aspects. I opted for the additional Kenwood XR400-4 amp, and the difference in audio quality is significant. This combo may not offer the ear pounding loudness kids aspire, but it does deliver a good, clean sound that overcomes road noise. Though she didn't want the add-on in her truck, she's now reconsidering. Both systems are using the factory speakers - and for now, all's good. Mine being an older truck, I would have to isolate and fix various cabin squeak/vibration sources before investing in upgraded speakers.

    Pros: good audio; good selection of inputs, works well with Apple products.

    Cons: reading the display in daytime - sunlight easily overwhelms it. Less integration with Android-based portables.


    ChipG from Massachusetts on 12/30/2014

    2005 Dodge Neon
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I am pleased with this unit, it performs much better then I expected. I am also happy with the controls, easy to learn and easy to operate. Why only 4 stars in many areas? I am a tough rater.


    Cons: I would prefer a clock display that was larger.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X498

    Anonymous from Cleveland, OH on 12/30/2014

    2000 Ford Ranger
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great basic stereo. Simple. All the features you want and need without all the complicated nonsense that can make some headunits hard to use and tune.



    Great sound system!

    Shirley from Southern NH on 12/26/2014

    2001 Toyota Corolla
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    very good sound quality, easy to use, installation was a breeze! we put this in our son's 2001 Toyota.

    Pros: see above

    Cons: none!

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X498

    Al from Illinois on 12/23/2014

    1993 Chevrolet Suburban
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Awesome stereo for the money, I would definitely buy this again.



    kenwood kdc-x 498

    Brian O from North Carolina on 12/18/2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Very nice.This thing sounds awesome and look's as good as it sound's.


    Cons: hard to see display in the daytime.


    Shay from Port angeles wa on 11/21/2014

    1993 GMC Sierra
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Really enjoy the sound and the quality.

    Pros: Works great easy to instal.

    Cons: Took a bit to figure out how to set it up.

    Kenwood KDC-498

    dav from Wisconsin on 11/20/2014

    1991 Chrysler New Yorker
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    The value is the best I can find. The watts per channel are more than enough to run a good system. If I had more power, I probably would blow my speakers. The ease of use is easy. The different levels of functions are easy to return one level and the previous level is always visible in the lower of two display lines on the front of the radio. The colors are cool and the installation was fast.

    Pros: Great value

    Cons: nothing

    works great

    h from Oregon on 11/17/2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    easy install works great . stations come in real clear , lots of power .

    Pros: install easy took about 5 min. very clear sound .

    Cons: none

    Great Product

    KX27 from Dayton TN on 11/13/2014

    2002 Volkswagen Jetta
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This is a great product. It offers easy access to every type of music playing formats desired, great sleek design, and easy install.

    Pros: Great looking. Quality piece and quality sound. Easy play of most all music formats.

    Cons: Doesn't interface well through USB for Android.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X498

    Don from Minneapolis, MN on 11/11/2014

    2007 Ford Ranger
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This receiver does everything I want: Digital Media either on CD or USB. and HD Radiio Tuner. For those who want to link with Pandora or I Heart Radio via I phone or Android. It supposedly will do that. But I'll never use that.

    Pros: Excellent Strong HD Radio Tuner. I pick up some HD Radio stations from 60 miles away.

    Cons: None yet. I suppose the clock display may be too small. But oh well.

    Kenwood KDC X498

    Doug from Lucasville, Oh on 11/9/2014

    2004 Chevrolet Avalanche
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Replaced an old Kenwood, so installation was a snap. Has very good sound quality. Easy to set sound system. Hard to read time in daylight.

    Pros: easy to install; not hard to set sound for your taste;

    Cons: time is too small to read during daytime

    Kenwood KDC-X498

    Bill H from Hurricane, Utah on 11/4/2014

    2006 Nissan Frontier
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Overall, it is a fine unit.

    Pros: 1. Excellent sound

    Cons: 1. This configuration is packed with so many features it is difficult to work with them 2. Simply too much packed into a very small package.

    User friendly radio!

    Xoxo_Jeepbabe from Port Saint Lucie, Florida on 11/3/2014

    1999 Jeep Wrangler
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I was looking for a radio that has the iPod connect on the face of the radio and something more user friendly. This is a great radio and is great for the price. I highly recommend this radio! Fit great in my Jeep.

    Pros: Price Shipping User friendly Looks nice Tons of functions


    kenwood x498

    JohnZ from Pittsburgh on 11/2/2014

    1993 Jeep Wrangler
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    great receiver for the money, 4v preamp, hooked up 4 speakers and sub, sounds great, plus hd radio. I installed this in a '93 jeep wrangler, fit perfectly, no modifications whatsoever

    Pros: like the hd radio, crystal clear reception

    Cons: I wish Kenwood would of included a faceplate case


    SamP from Jacksonville, FL on 10/27/2014

    2002 Mercury Grand Marquis
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Good sound but the display is very dim, the buttons are very small and the display colors are not all that great.

    Pros: good sound

    Cons: small buttons, bad display

    Awesome head unit

    Johnboy from Fort Worth, Tx on 10/24/2014

    2001 Hyundai Accent
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I was looking around for a new head unit to replace my factory stereo in my 01 Hyundai Accent. This head unit has been really good to me and was easy to setup once you read directions a little for the more in depth options. Required an app download from the Apple Store so I can use my iPad Air to it for use with the Pandora, iheart radio and other audio stuff. Found out that it allows you to play any audio source from your apple device through the stereo, including watching YouTube from the web browser and personal videos taken from your device. Though if you're playing a song or what not from your apple device and you get a call, it will mute the song your playing and take the call as priority for some reason. Also if you get an email, that sound my iPad plays for the notification will play through the stereo too. So check your setting s if you're gonna have it up loud. You don't want a DING!!!! Coming through the speakers when jamming out. Ha ha ha. Other then that, it's a really awesome unit to own. Also has 24 different display colors to chose from or have them all change on their own which is cool if that's what you like.

    Pros: pandora, Iheart radio, USB, aux, hd radio connectivity. Can search for a song on the cd or radio station without changing the current song or radio station.

    Cons: Display is a little dim and sometimes hard to see when it's really bright outside. And the system settings can only be set from the very beginning either after you reset the whole stereo by pressing the little reset button behind the face plate or when you initially turn it on for the first time. If you have to go back and change a setting, like speaker size or cd or radio settings, you have to reset the whole stereo all over again and lose all your settings to get to them.

    Excellent Radio!

    ram_man from SA, TX on 10/18/2014

    2005 Dodge Ram 2500
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This is the 2nd of this series I have purchased. I had one in my old truck, and when I went to replace the head unit in this truck, it wasn't even a second though. I perused a few other brands, but features for the price, this is pretty hard to beat. This thing has 3 differ bet pre am outputs, planets of EQ, display, and playback options to even upped my sound quality a tiny bit in my sticker speakers. This is step one of a stereo build, next is a 4 way amp and door speakers, then subs. Very happy, very good product.

    Pros: looks good, detachable face, a bazillion colors for the display, lots of per amp outputs

    Cons: The only thing I can say is I wish it had a dinner witch option.

    Great deck for the price!

    BrianF from Maine on 10/9/2014

    1997 Ford Ranger
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Needed to replace the factory deck in my work truck and didn't want to spend a lot of money. Less than $120 shipped with the harness and wiring kit - I don't know how Crutchfield does it. Great little deck with a lot of features, I had a couple of questions during the install, two quick calls and my questions were answered in less than two minutes! Third buying experience with Crutchfield and will buy again.

    Pros: Great quality, great sound, even better value, easy to use features

    Cons: None

    Good Buy

    Frank Q from Chaska, MN on 10/7/2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I had a minor problem with the installation in which the antenna control did not work. A quick call to the Crutchfield tech support and I got the help I needed to successfully complete the installation.

    Pros: Great sound

    Cons: Printed instructions didn't adequately cover antenna hookup

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X498

    Ed from Ossining, ny on 9/26/2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Installation was painless. Operation takes some getting used to but eventually it delivers as described. i am using it in a convertible so the display is generally not visible on a sunny day--likely the case with any ratio. I like it and would unconditionally recommend it.

    Pros: Ease of installation. Great with my iPhone

    Cons: Display could be brighter but does not take it out of the 5 star category.

    nice product

    fullmonte60 from maryland on 9/13/2014

    2000 Ford Mustang
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    sounds great with many useful features.



    awesome cd player

    drm3636 from Madison ga on 9/1/2014

    2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Awesome cd player! First ever ordering from crutchfield, and I was very pleased with the products as well as the shipping time. Will definitely use again.



    you get more than what you pay for

    browntortoise from pasadena c.a on 8/28/2014

    2010 Honda Fit Sport
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    sound quality is great. the eq is easy to use, and gets you very clear full sound. Yes the function lighting isnt the best in the daylight. but it is about the sound quality with the head unit for me. you get great sound quality and functional eq controls. it does what it should, and thats good enough for me.

    Pros: it hits all the important targets im after in a head unit at a great price point. ( great sound quality, 6 outputs, high volt outputs, quality & easy to use eq, etc... )

    Cons: the dimmer is difficult to see in the daylight.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X498

    AlexH from Charlottesville, VA on 8/23/2014

    It is a very good for loud vehicles.

    Pros: Sounds Great


    everything but time......

    Jason from Atlanta on 8/22/2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This unit is almost everything I wanted it to be....I like the fact the the preamps are a little beefier than most.......My real complaint is this....I use the USB to run my IPOD for the most part...Kenwood will let you control it from the unit or from the IPod....I always choose IPod because its easier to look through 100 GB of music that way when you know where its, when you opt to control from the device the unit displays APPS/IPOD CONTROL (or something to that effect) on the can't change it to just display the clock.....or the band that is title.....anything......and that is lame. Generally the clock only displays as the secondary on the face.....really small.....Fix that Kenwood......or tell me how, no one I've talked to seems to know.

    Pros: USB

    Cons: Clock display is always the secondary smaller text


    Anonymous from Wentzville, Missouri on 8/21/2014

    2000 Ford F-150
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I hadn't bought a new head unit in years, I decided to update. I bought all new speakers an amp, but was missing something, this head unit. It really was the missing piece to the puzzle.

    Pros: Price, stylish, great functions, easy to install, can change to just about any color to match your interior

    Cons: A little dim

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X498

    Al from DC on 8/15/2014

    2001 Volkswagen Passat
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I've previously had a very similar Kenwood KDC-HD548U that I was please with, so I came back to Kenwood. I assumed the "Excelon" prefix indicated it was a better but I guess I was wrong. I sent this back because: 1)- As other users noted, the display is dim. I use the iPod interface as my primary source of music and it is nearly impossible to navigate the menu if the sun is out. 2)- The iPod navigation only goes from the top of the alphabet down. So if you want to listen to ZZ Top, you have to scroll all the way through all your music. This is just annoying. The other model lets you go directly backwards from A. 3)- The knobs and buttons feel cheap. Not a huge problem, but translates to poor user experience and the impression that this unit won't be durable. Sound and radio reception were fine. If you don't know whether you want/need HD radio, I'll make it easy for you: yes, get it. I just recommend getting it in a different unit.



    Great Value

    P from Springfield, Mo on 8/9/2014

    1995 Chevrolet S10
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Time to upgrade my older Alpine. Wanted Aux in for mp3 players, and HD radio. I have had Great Kenwood Amps, Tuners, n Turntables in past. Always great sound! Really pleased with this radio.

    Pros: I chose the Excelon brand for the increased sound controls. Well worth it. Adjust Bass, Mid, and Treble. Custom and Pre defined EQ controls. I love how your sound adjustment modes stay on, so you can fine tune levels with out them reverting back to main display. HD radio gets some stations clearer. Very easy to add Amp and/or Subwoofer. Has HPF to help protect your speakers from distortion. Crisp Clear Sound.

    Cons: Only wish bass response greater, with out loudness controls on.

    super nice

    jt from athens ga on 8/8/2014

    1999 Toyota 4Runner
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    very nice, easy to set up, simple operation from front. dust covers over cd and usb port nice, mounted in 4x4 that stays dirty.....

    Pros: simple and easy to see front panel

    Cons: still trying to get used to ipod control built within

    Good Value

    BobB from Henderson, NV on 8/7/2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Good value

    Pros: Price

    Cons: Display not bright enough.


    Kevin from Orlando on 7/26/2014

    1997 Volvo 850 GLT
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Sounds great, looks good, lots of features and set-up options. Excellent value

    Pros: quality, great sound, lots of features

    Cons: Display is hard to see in daylight

    Just what I was looking for

    climberchick from Cambridge, MA on 7/7/2014

    2006 Honda CRV EX
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I like this unit quite a bit. I purchased it to modernize an 8-year-old car so that I could play music from portable devices on road trips. I chose this unit with HD Radio over a Bluetooth unit because I do not play or stream music from my battery-addled phone, and more often listen to broadcast radio. I like the look---it looks good and fits in with my 8-year-old interior without being too flashy. I also love how you can plug in a flash drive packed with MP3s and have a music library in your car. I find the controls pretty easy to use; the buttons are small but are textured enough for me to be able to push them, and the SRC and HD Radio buttons are large and easy (and satisfying!) to push. The knob feels a little "cheap," but it works fine and looks good. Settings are easy to access and intuitive enough; I've only had to look in the instruction manual once. My one wish is that you could display the song title, artist, AND clock, instead of just two out of three! I did the installation myself (first time I have installed a car stereo) using the Crutchfield MasterSheet and wire harness kit instructions and it was dead simple (if you know your way around a soldering iron). I also integrated it with my steering wheel controls, which was a little trickier, but not too bad. Thanks, Crutchfield! All in all, I am very pleased with the unit, especially for the features I got for the price.



    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X498

    Damon S. from Lutz, Fl on 7/5/2014

    2010 Nissan Altima
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This radio has a lot of feathers found on higher priced units. The 3 sets of outputs and the ability to fine tune the sound to your liking is amazing. I use a thumb drive mostly, but still like to have the radio for news, traffic and weather. I know that CDs are on their way out but I still have a lot, so I can throw one in when I want. On top of all that there still is an AUX input for mp3 or whatever. My only complaint is the display, has stated by several other reviewers. It is very dim and hard to see even though I have tinted windows. With that being the only down side I still think that this is an awesome unit and when you consider the price I will live with the display being so dim.

    Pros: Price, 3 sets of outputs, Diversity of radio, CD, USB, and AUX inputs.

    Cons: The display is to dim.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X498

    B from Jefferson, Oh on 6/28/2014

    2004 Honda Accord EX
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Kenwood head units are the best!! Great quality!! Absolutely no problems with this head unit and sounds amazing!

    Pros: Sound quality and easy to use

    Cons: none


    KS from Arlington, Tx on 6/21/2014

    1996 Toyota Tercel
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Amazing cd player. It was a huge upgrade from my other cd player, Can't go wrong with kenwood

    Pros: Sound Quality Value

    Cons: None

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X498

    Anonymous from newman, il on 6/16/2014

    1997 Lincoln Town Car
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Sounds great and tons of options



    03 Civic LX CD/Radio upgrade

    Tom B. from Lawrence, KS on 6/14/2014

    2003 Honda Civic
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Very Good Sound for the Price. Once I figured out the Menu, I found out how to shape the sound for my car. Excellent Sound control. Display is hard to see in Daylight. Clock is hard to see as well. Installation took an hour.

    Pros: Good Hi power 4 way CD/Radio. Sounds Much better than stock. Excellent value. Very Good Sound Control. Alot of features to let you tailor the sound to your car.

    Cons: Hard to see display/clock in Daylight. Adapter kit took a little Persuasion to line up some screw holes. luckily, the plastic is pliable enough to accommodate.


    T33Z3R from Meadville, PA on 6/14/2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Overall a very nice deck for the money. 3 sets of 4volt preamp outputs, front, rear, and subwoofer. A 22x4 rms on-board amplifier. Low pass and high pass crossovers. All the tech stuff you can read for yourself on the product description. But from my perspective, here's some of what I think you should know. For one, this receiver has no dimmer wire to attach to your vehicle so the display is a bit hard to see in full daylight and a little too bright at night. Second, the interface isn't an incredibly intuitive design but if you're smarter than a parrot, you'll be able to figure out how to navigate all the features. Third, cd slot has a little cover over it so dust doesn't get in (which I think is a nice feature), but that would probably make the eject button awkward to push for someone with sausage fingers. I haven't had a problem with it, but I thought that was worth mentioning. The sound quality is very good for the price and the preamp outs deliver clean and strong signal to your aftermarket amps. I'd recommend this to anyone building a budget system if you're not worried about being able to see the display consistently.

    Pros: Good sound. High pass and low pass crossovers. 4 volt preamp outs. usb and aux inputs in front, Decent 22x4watts power. Nifty dust cover flaps for the inputs and cd slot. Variable color display. Nice aesthetic design.

    Cons: Hard to read display in daylight. Counter intuitive user interface.

    updated review

    aaron from chesterton, in on 6/12/2014

    1996 Ford F Series
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I am updating a review from a few months ago. Really is a decent unit, but it's one glaring problem was enough for me to take it out of a vehicle I currently own, and put it in a vehicle I sold. The lack of a dimmer connection, or lack of a brighter display was just too frustrating. This thing was invisible in daylight.

    Pros: Everything is fine, except the lack of dimming capability or brighter display.

    Cons: Display is too dim to see during the day. No dimmer connection.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X498

    Bob K. from West Seneca, NY on 6/12/2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Bought this for my garage/patio. Set-up seemed complicated at first, but turned out simple. Operates just like a PC.. Folders to files and choose. Really nice campared to previous installments. A very modern look with good sound. Love it !

    Pros: Easy install and set-up

    Cons: Zero !

    Functionality is great, operationality not so much

    Ken from TX on 6/6/2014

    1999 Honda Accord
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Good, but hard to operate.

    Pros: Lots of functionaility for the money.

    Cons: Display is very hard to see in the daytime, even at maximum brightness. Control buttons are very small.

    Nice for the $$$

    Chris from Danville Va. on 5/28/2014

    2012 Ram 1500
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    overall nice product. really opened up my sound stage.

    Pros: Good value, nice features for the money

    Cons: small buttons, display hard to see during the day


    Anonymous from Fountain Inn, SC on 5/22/2014

    1995 GMC Sierra
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Sounds great easy install as always with kenwood.

    Pros: It's a Kenwood!!!

    Cons: Ain't none. It's a Kenwood!!!


    CMG from Roanoke on 5/15/2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Solid for the price

    Pros: Cycles very well between multiple interfaces. Can control basic iTunes on an iPad with faceplate controls. Intuitive (better than a previous Kenwood I purchased for another vehicle

    Cons: Sound quality is decent but hardly earth-shattering (and that is using with Focal Speakers). Not a major critique. I find the remote control to be categorically ridiculous - Kenwood should spend the money elsewhere.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X498

    Mark W from N. Illinois on 5/2/2014

    2000 Jeep Cherokee
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    The tone shaping on this unit is very, very good. Sound quality is excellent, like you'd expect from Kenwood. Installation was a snap in my 2000 Cherokee. The unit seems to be built well, but I am a little underwhelmed by the flip-up door on the CD player. It feels a little flimsy and makes it harder to eject a CD due to the tiny eject button crammed into a small area under the flip-door. This is not a huge deal since the unit comes with a remote. My only other tiny gripe with this unit is the incredibly tiny clock display. It may as well not even be there. Other than the clock and flip-door, I am quite satisfied with this head-unit. The EQ section and sound quality far outweigh the few gripes I have.

    Pros: Excellent EQ/Tone Shaping Great sound quality

    Cons: Microscopic clock Display is hard to read in sunlight (making the clock 100% useless) CD player flip-door and tiny eject button are a little annoying

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X498

    gg from chicago on 4/26/2014

    2000 Mercury Sable LS
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    very nice

    Pros: usb, iphone hookup upgraded sound and visual

    Cons: had to be installed in a cheap adapter kit

    Not worth the trouble

    mh6474 from springfield mo on 4/15/2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    this is crazy hard to get this installed. There are so many ways to go wrong with the install. you will most likly break something important that may cost 100's to repair. (i broke my 4 way flasher switch) the install kit is really cheap as well and breaks easy. this is just a bad idea to try this type of install unless you are really experienced with this stuff. plus the finished result sounds worse than than the 1995 factory am and fm stereo. your customer service was helpful and good but still the day i installed this sterteo was a really bad day. Also no local shops will use the install kits that you get with this. They make you buy their stuff instead so, you can't save money by getting the free install kit and have a shop put it in for you either.

    Pros: some cool factor

    Cons: cheap, hard to install, you will damage your car, sound may suck, hard to use, waste of money, may create a break in target. just an all around bad idea.

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X498

    JoeF from Massachusetts on 4/4/2014

    1998 Volvo S70 GLT
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Needed a new HU for 98 S&0 Volvo, this came with everything I needed and within 45 minutes I was listening to music!

    Pros: Great sound, interfaces for USB and AUX along with the usual sound formats....HD is great!

    Cons: None yet.....

    Great product, even better customer service.

    Chet Z from Boston Ma on 3/31/2014

    2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Bought this product to replace my factory unit in my 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee. I was unsure about how I would like the HD radio, but I'm so glad I got it. Radio now sounds like CD quality. I'm very happy with this product, but I'm even happier with the customer service that Crutchfield has. I had to call twice during installation and wasn't on the phone more than 2 minutes each time before having my problem resolved. A+

    Pros: Best customer service by far!!

    Cons: Nada

    Kenwood Excelon KDC-X498

    TexasFemale from Texas on 3/30/2014

    2003 Ford F-150
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great product


    Cons: The changing colors are dull & very hard to see during the day

    Sounds good for the price

    Seth from Woodburn, Or on 3/27/2014

    1997 Honda Civic
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I need a stereo loaded with features for a low cost and that is what I got. The screen is hard to see in the bright sun but is super clear at night. It was supposed to be a plug and play Iphone 5 unit through the USB but I can't figure it out so I run my phone via the AUX port .

    Pros: Sounds good, has 3 high power pre outs for amps , was cheap

    Cons: hard to see in the day light, Iphone USB does not work simply

    Great receiver

    j944 from San Diego, CA on 3/5/2014

    1983 Porsche 944
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This receiver is great for listening to HD radio broadcasts. The sound quality is excellent. I'm always satisfied when I buy Kenwood. I really like the fact that you can match the stereo illumination to any color in your car that you want. The gauges on my Porsche are yellow and I was able to match that color with the stereo.

    Pros: Easy to setup. Has built in crossovers.

    Cons: None.


    aaron from Chesterton, Indiana on 3/3/2014

    1996 Ford F Series
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Overall a nice unit. I just want to touch on the issues I have so far (installed for a week)... No dimmer connection. Every receiver I've ever had in a vehicle would dim when the headlights turn on. This Kenwood has no wire to connect to the dimmer. So, in the day it is too dim, and at night it is too bright. Also, I've yet to find a display mode that shows the time in an easily visible font. This is annoying in a vehicle with no other clocks. Positives... It looks nice and it plays music well - major upgrade over stock radio. But, the stock radio was way better at being visible (clock/brightness).

    Pros: Nice receiver. Performs well. Looks good.

    Cons: No dimmer/headlight connection. Hard to see during the day and overly bright at night. No display setting that shows the time in a large font.

    Great headunit

    My from Detroit, mi on 3/2/2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    My first head unit install and Crutchfield made it easy. Great improvement over stock stereo.



    Great Low Cost Unit

    Clafoun from Dallas, TX on 3/1/2014

    1999 Ford Ranger
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great little low cost upgrade from a factory cassette player. Got this to replace my stock unit in a 99 Ford Ranger. It was easy to install with everything needed to replace the factory unit free from Crutchfield. The wiring harness and adapter were supplied with easy to follow instructions. I soldered and shrink tubed all of the connections and slid the new unit in place with no problems. Everything needed to install the unit was included free with the radio, including the dash kit, wiring harness and adapter and even the special tools to pull the old factory radio. Way to go Crutchfield!

    Pros: Built in HD radio tuner that locks in on stations well. Can take a USB thumb drive with all of my music on it. Custom color control for the interface. Easy to use controls even without reading the manual.

    Cons: The clock display is a bit small, but it's workable.

    Nice, reasonably priced CD receiver

    Steve from Colorado Springs, CO on 2/28/2014

    2002 Saturn SL2
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This CD receiver looks nice - tons of color options, simple controls and not overly complicated. Doesn't have tons of extra features I don't need or care about or would even use. Sound quality is fine, especially after playing with the EQ settings and other sound settings. Power is significant. Could blow stock speakers if I wanted it to. Wish the clock was the larger of the two items displayed on the read-out. I care less about the song title than what time it is. But lots of car stereos seem to get this wrong.

    Pros: Sound quality, display color choices, simple controls, simple to install, USB and aux in are great.

    Cons: Doesn't have a dimmer wire. Cannot control with your cars lighting. And dimmer button doesn't make much of a difference.

    Could be better, but still pretty good.

    Richard from Jacksonville, FL on 2/24/2014

    1998 Nissan Pathfinder
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This is a beautiful deck, sounds great, installed easily, but the USB and Android phone features leave a little to be desired. First and foremost, the specs claim that the unit can read WMA files. The reality is that it will only read "some" WMA files. From what I have found so far, WMA files recorded at a variable bit rate are not recognized my this unit. I had to convert all of my music files to MP3 before the unit would read them through the USB port. Secondly, the Android phone support shown on the specs is another "might work" feature. From what I could find in my research of other reviews of the Kenwood App (most are 1 star) your Android phone must be able to be mounted as "mass USB storage" for the Android App to work with this deck. In my case, an HTC One, that is not possible without rooting the phone. Judging by the massive amount of 1 star reviews all saying "does not work with my Android phone" it would seem that is is a common issue with most Android phones. Input through the 3.5 mm head phone jack works, but the volume and robustness of the audio is greatly reduced. The Readers Digest version is if you want to use an Android phone with your new radio, this deck is probably not for you. Had I know that the Android support was this poor, I would have selected a different deck.

    Pros: Attractive, easy to use controls, great sound.

    Cons: Android support is incredibly poor as is the ability to read WMA files.

    Good radio

    EDdie25 from Pittsburg, Texas on 1/29/2014

    Good radio but bad thing dont have XM radio...




    Hands-on research

    Features and Specs

    AUX Input Front
    Audio/video Input ---
    USB Input Front
    CarPlay No
    Android Auto No
    Siri Control No
    Android Control Yes
    Memory Card Slot USB
    Bluetooth Compatible No
    Satellite Radio Ready No
    HD Radio Built-in
    Navigation ---
    iPod Compatibility
    Full size Classic/5Gen
    Nano 7/6/5/4/3/2/1
    Touch 5/4/3/2/1
    iPhone 6+/6/5S/5C/5/4S/4/3GS/3G/2G
    RMS Power (CTA-2006) N/A
    RMS Power (Manufacturer) ---
    Peak Output 50 watts
    RMS Power Bandwidth 20-20kHz
    Preamp Outputs 6-channel
    Sub Preamp Outputs Yes
    Switchable Rear Preamp Outputs No
    Video Screen No
    Preamp Voltage 4 volts
    Display Color Variable
    Key Button Color Variable
    EQ Bands 3
    Wireless Remote Yes
    Steering Wheel Control Compatible Adapter required
    Parts Warranty 2 Years
    Labor Warranty 2 Years
    FM Sensitivity 9.3 dBf
    European Tuning Yes
    Seek/Scan Seek
    Radio Data System No

    Product Research

    Audio Section
    USB/Android/Aux Integration
    iPod/iPhone Control
    Disc Playback
    HD Radio
    Display Features
    Remote Control

    Audio Section

    Excelon Series: The KDC-X498 CD receiver is part of Kenwood's Excelon series line-up. It incorporates the latest technologies and delivers the highest sonic performance. From advanced audio tuning capabilities, crossover and equalizer system, high-voltage preouts (4V), plus a two-year warranty - Kenwood Excelon represents exceptional audio quality with long-lasting dependability.

    16 Bit D/A Converter: The Kenwood KDC-X498 utilizes a 16-bit digital to analog converter for superior sound quality.

    MOSFET Amplifier: The Kenwood KDC-X498 is equipped with a MOSFET amplifier. Compared to conventional power supplies, the MOSFET amplification circuit is smaller and more efficient, and it delivers increased power with less distortion and absolutely zero on/off switching noise. More power means louder and cleaner music at higher volumes because you're not pushing the limits of the amplification circuit. The power output specs for the KDC-X498 are as follows:

    • Full Bandwidth Power: 22 watts RMS x 4 channels (at 4 ohms, 20-20kHz, 1% THD)
    • Maximum Output Power: 50 watts x 4 channels

    6ch/4V Preamp Outputs: The KDC-X498 features front, rear and subwoofer 4.0-volt preamp outputs. The front and rear speaker preamp outputs are balance and fade adjustable. The subwoofer preamp output is non-fading. The front, rear, and subwoofer preamp outputs are fixed to the rear chassis of the head unit.

    Front & Rear High-Pass Filter: The KDC-X498 features a High-Pass Crossover for the front & rear channels when your front & rear speakers are connected by the unit's speaker-outputs or preamp-outputs. You can adjust the high-pass crossover from "Through", 100, 120, or 150 Hz. The "Through" selection is a full-range setting.

    Subwoofer Controls: The Kenwood KDC-X498 offers the following subwoofer controls, when you are using unit's subwoofer preamp output.

    • Low Pass Filter: The receiver features a built-in Low Pass Filter control for the preamp-output, when the output is set to Subwoofer. You can select from 85 Hz, 120 Hz, 160 Hz, or off.
    • Subwoofer Phase: You can adjust the phase of the subwoofer output between 180-degrees (Reverse) or 0-degrees (Normal).
    • Subwoofer Level: Once the Subwoofer preamp output is activated, you can independently control the subwoofer preamp output level (-15 to +15) from the CD receiver.

    Speaker Settings: The Speaker Setting function tailors the head unit's audio settings according to the type of speakers in your vehicle. You may select a Speaker Setting of 'SP-Off' (flat/off), 'SP-OEM' (for OEM factory speaker systems), 'SP-6x9/6' (for systems with 6" and 6"x9" speakers), or 'SP-5/4' (for systems with 4" and 5" speakers).

    EQ Pro: The KDC-X498 is equipped with Kenwood's EQ Pro. The integrated equalizer offers 8 preset sound modes (Rock, Pops, Easy, Top 40, Jazz, Natural, Drive EQ, or User) suitable for the music genre of your choice. The Drive EQ mode is an EQ preset that helps reduce road noise. The User mode allows you to manually adjust the head unit's 3-band parametric EQ (Frequency, Level, and Q-Factor).

    EQ Pro
    Bass60, 80, 100, 200 Hz-8 to +81.0, 1.25, 1.5, 2.0
    Midrange0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.5 kHz-8 to +80.75, 1.0, 1.25
    Treble10.0, 12.5, 15.0, 17.5 kHz-8 to +8Fixed
    Note: You can store EQ Pro bass, middle and treble tone settings for each source (Disc, Tuner, Aux, USB, iPod, and Pandora/iHeart Radio).

    Sound Enhancements: The head unit provides further sound enhancements for your car audio system.

    • Bass Boost: The Kenwood CD receiver features a Bass Boost control that can be set to the following levels (BB1, BB2, BB3, or Off).
    • Loudness: This function enhances low and high frequencies to make the sound clearer lower volumes. There are 3 levels (LV1, LV2, or Off).
    • Sound Reconstruction: When MP3 or WMA files encoded at a low bit rate (less than 96 kbps, 44.1k, 48kHz) are played, the Sound Reconstruction function restores their high frequencies so the sound quality is closer to files encoded at a high bit rate. The processing is optimized for the compression format and the bit rate used. When Sound Reconstruction is Off, the unit plays the original sound stored in the audio file.

    Volume Offset: The level of each source may be independently adjusted to prevent radical leaps in output volume when switching from one source to another. The available settings range from -8 to 0 (-8 to +8 for Aux source).

    Key Beep: The in-dash head unit provides an audible beep to confirm button operation. This function can be turned On or Off.

    USB/Android/Aux Integration

    USB Port: The Kenwood KDC-X498 features a front panel USB (type-A) port that is hidden behind a flip-up cover. The USB port enables connection and control of a portable USB mass-storage class (MSC) device; such as select Android smartphones (Froyo/Gingerbread OS only), portable digital audio players, or USB thumbdrives. The unit supports playback of MP3 (8-320 kbps), WMA (32-192 kbps), and WAV music files stored on a compatible USB memory device formatted with FAT12/16/32 file system. Your USB device should only have a maximum of 8 folder layers, 999 folders, and 999 files per folder - with a maximum of 20,480 files and folders. USB portable audio players that can be charged via USB will be charged when plugged into the CD receiver's USB port (max. 1A), and the vehicle's ignition switch is set to ACC or On.

    Note: When a mass-storage class (MSC) compatible smartphone is connected to the head unit's USB input, the unit's Drive Change features lets you select its internal memory or external memory (such as an SD card) for stored music playback. The Drive Change feature also lets you switch between multiple memory cards (up to 5) in a USB multi-card reader or multiple USB thumbdrives (up to 5) connected to a USB hub.

    Music Control for Android Smartphone: The Kenwood Music Control app for Android organizes your Android smartphone's music, while providing quick and easy search capability from the Kenwood CD receiver. The freeKenwood Music Control App for Android can be downloaded onto your Android smartphone from the Google Play App Store. Your Android smartphone must be running Android OS Froyo or Gingerbread (2.2+). Once the app is downloaded and has a chance to organize all the stored music on your Android smartphone, you can connect your Android smartphone to the Kenwood CD receiver via USB (your compatible Android smartphone must be recognized as a USB mass storage class device; not compatible with MTP protocol). The Kenwood Music Control app offers the following Android supported functions.

    • Song Management: Music stored in your Android smartphone can be navigated from the Kenwood CD receiver. Songs can be easily selected by searching for a Song title, Artist name, Album label, or Genre.
    • Song Information Display: Song information such as Artist name, Song title, and Album label are displayed on the connected Kenwood CD receiver.
    • Mood Playlist: Playlists can be created by classifying songs into categories by type of mood. Songs are analyzed and classified into the following categories of moods - High Energy (Active/Powerful/Core), Acoustic (Detailed/Simple/Smooth/Easy), Standard (Dynamic/Rockin/Vivid), Stylistic (Cool/Urban/Trance)
    • Intro Skip: This function allows you to choose and listen to only the hook-lines of songs stored in your Android smartphone.
    Note: When the Kenwood Music Control app is first downloaded it will require some time to populate all the music, so we suggest doing this overnight.

    Music Editor Compatible: The Kenwood KDC-X498 supports the PC application, Kenwood Music Editor Lite Kenwood's Music Editor Lit (v1.1.0). Kenwood Music Editor Lite is a Windows-based desktop software that helps organize, manage and transfer MP3/WMA music files to your USB thumbdrive from your PC. When you playback audio files that have been stored on your USB thumbdrive using Kenwood Music Editor Lite through this unit, you can search a file by title, album, or artist name using the head unit's Music Search function. The Kenwood Music Editor Light (v1.1.0) Windows-based software can be downloaded for free from Kenwood's website to your PC. The Kenwood Music Editor Light is compatible with the following Windows Microsoft Operating Systems.

    • Windows XP Professional, Home Edition SP2 or later (32-bit)
    • Windows Vista (32/64-bit)
    • Windows 7 (32/64-bit)
    • Windows 8
    Note: Not compatible with Apple iPod/iPhone/iPad, Zune, or Android

    Aux In: The unit is equipped with a front panel 3.5mm minijack auxiliary input that can be used to input audio from a portable audio source, such as a portable MP3 player. The Aux input must be turned on to function. The KDC-X498 allows you to select the source type displayed when using the auxiliary input. You can choose from AUX, DVD, Portable, Game, Video, or TV. The unit has three aux input modes.

    iPod/iPhone Control

    iPod Direct Connection: The Kenwood KDC-X498's front-panel USB port can be used to connect your 30-pin dock connector or Lightning-connector iPod/iPhone to the head unit. The KDC-X498 supports audio playback, music navigation, information display, and charging of your compatible Apple device.

    • 30-Pin Dock Connector: If you have an older iPod/iPhone with a 30-pin dock connector, you can use Kenwood's dock connector-to-USB cable (113KCIP102, sold separately) or the dock connector-to-USB cable that comes with your Apple device to connect your iPod/iPhone to the KDC-X498.
    • Lightning Connector: If you have a newer iPod/iPhone with the Lightning-connector, you can use the Lightning-to-USB cable that came with your Apple device to connect your iPod/iPhone to the KDC-X498.

    Note: The head unit's USB connection provides 1A of current to power and charge your connected iPod/iPhone when your vehicle's ignition switch is set to the 'ACC' or 'On' position (if your iPod/iPhone has no initial battery charge, then the unit will not recognize it).

    iPod Audio Playback w/ DAC Bypass: The USB connection allows your iPod/iPhone's stored music and music apps to be loaded instantly to the head unit and sound quality to be maximized through the head unit's 16-bit D/A converter, allowing for a Signal to Noise ratio up to 110dB. The Kenwood head unit supports audio playback of stored music, podcasts, audiobooks, and music apps on your iPod or iPhone. The KDC-X498 provides music control and song/artist information display.

    • Music Control: The Kenwood head unit allows you to navigate your iPod's music by Playlist, Artists, Album, Genre, Composer, Song, or Podcast. You can search these categories alphabetically (A-Z) or using a percentage search (0.5%, 1%, 5%, 10%). The head unit also supports Repeat (file) & Random (folder) playback functions of your connected iPod/iPhone. Newer iPod/iPhones with iOS 6.0+ allow you to continue to access your Apple device's touchscreen. Older iPod/iPhone devices will be locked during connection.
    • Song/Artist Info: The KDC-X498 will display your iPod/iPhone's music file information. The head unit will display Track number, Elapsed playing time, Artist name, Song title, and Album label.

    Internet Radio Apps (for iPhone): The Kenwood KDC-X498 allows you to access Pandora and iHeartRadio online music services through your USB-connected iPhone. Your Apple iPhone must be connected to the KDC-X498 via the Kenwood KCA-iP102 cable (sold separately), or the cable supplied with your iPhone. Your iPhone will need an active Data Plan account with connection to the Internet via 3G, EDGE, or WiFi.

    • Pandora App: ThePandora App (free) lets you play music from the Pandora music service through the Kenwood KDC-X498 using your connected Apple iPhone, via the Kenwood KCA-iP102 USB/iPod connector cable (sold separately), or the cable supplied with your iPhone. The Kenwood KDC-X498 provides control over the Pandora music service and displays Artist, Album, and Song information. You can select Pandora stations from your station list and sort them by date or alphabetically (A-Z). New stations can be created based on the current songs or artists playing. You can save up to five Pandora stations as presets. You can also skip song tracks within a station. You can even give songs a thumbs up or thumbs down. To access Pandora you must have an Apple iPhone (iOS 5.0+) with the latest version of the Pandora application from Apple's iTunes App Store. Your iPhone will need an active Data Plan account with connection to the Internet via 3G, EDGE, or WiFi. You will also need a Pandora music service account.
    • iHeartRadio Link: The free iHeartRadio Link app for Kenwood from  lets you play music from the iHeartRadio music service through the Kenwood KDC-X498 using your USB-connected Apple iPhone (iOS 5.0+). The iHeartRadio music service provides access to more than 1,500 live radio stations from coast-to-coast (including pop, country, urban, rock, talk, and sports). The KDC-X498 will provide control over the iHeartRadio Link app, as well as display station identification and song/artist information. From the head unit's front-panel controls, iHeartRadio stations can be searched by the following categories(Local, Genre, City, or My Stations). The Local selection provides a list of radio stations in your local listening area. The unit also provides over 22 Genres to choose from (including pop, country, hip-hop, jazz, etc.) to help you find the right radio station for you. In addition, you can search for radio stations by City. Cities can be searched alphabetically (A-Z). You can even store your favorite stations (My Stations) for easier, quicker access. An active iHeartRadio account is required.
    Note: Access to the Pandora and iHeartRadio services will depend on the availability of a cellular and/or WiFi network for purposes of allowing your iPhone to connect to the Internet. Pandora is not supported in Canada and only available in the United States.

    Apple Device Compatibility Chart: The Kenwood KDC-X498 is "Made for iPod/iPhone" compatible and supports the following iPod/iPhone model features (as of 9/28/2014):

    Apple DeviceGenerationTested VersionMedia TypeControl TypeDisplay TypeiTunes TaggingCharge
    AudioVideoHead UnitiPod/iPhonePandora/iHeart RadioArtist/Song TextTrack Info
    nano 1st1.3.1YNYNNYYNY
    6th1.2 PCYNYNNYYYY
    classic 80GB1.1.2YNYNNYYYY
    video 5th1.3YNYNNYYNY
    Note: Apple iPod/iPhone software updates may change functionality results. If you download a newer software version, you may need to reset the head unit and your iPod/iPhone to regain functionality. If this doesn't work, you may need to wait until a newer software update is available.

    Disc Playback

    Disc Compatibility: The unit features a single disc player that will playback CD-Audio and finalized CD-R/CD-RW audio discs. The CD slot is hidden behind a manual fold-up cover which blends into the front-panel of the head unit.

    MP3/WMA Playback: The KDC-X498 can play MP3 (8-320 kbps) and WMA (32-192 kbps) music files recorded on CD-R and CD-RW discs in ISO9660 Level 1/Level 2, Joliet, Romeo, and Long file name formats. Each disc can have a maximum of 8 directory levels, 500 folders, and 500 files per folder (500 maximum number of files and folders). During MP3/WMA playback, the unit displays any recorded ID3 Tag (ver. 1.x/2.x) and WMA Tag information - up to 60 characters.

    Text Scroll: The KDC-X498 will display MP3/WMA audio file text. You can set the text scrolling feature to three different modes (Auto, Once, or Off) to scroll longer titles across the screen.

    Music Search + Direct Search: The Kenwood AM/FM CD receiver features a Music Search feature which allows you to scroll through and select your MP3/WMA music folders and files, as well as scroll through your audio CD's music tracks using the head unit's rotary knob. The supplied IR wireless remote control (RC-406) allows you to search for music directly by entering the track number.

    Playback Modes: The Kenwood KDC-X498 features the following Repeat, Random, and Scan playback modes.

    • Repeat Play: Track, File, or Folder
    • Random Play: Disc or Folder
    • Scan Play: Track or File (plays the first 10-seconds of each music track on a disc or music file in a folder)

    Last Position Memory: If the unit is shut off or switched to the tuner mode while a CD is playing, the next time CD is selected as the source, playback will resume from the point where it left off.

    CD Read: This function sets the method for reading a CD disc. You can choose between two modes.

    • CD1: Automatically distinguishes between audio file disc and music CD when playing a CD or CD-R/RW disc.
    • CD2: When unable to play a special formatted CD, set this function to CD2 to force playing. Some music CD  discs may be unplayable even when set to this mode.

    Off Insert/Eject: A CD disc can be inserted or ejected with the power off. When a disc is inserted with the power off, the unit will automatically power up and begin playback.

    Auto Reload: If the ejected disc is not removed within 15 seconds, the disc is automatically inserted again into the loading slot to protect it from dust.

    HD Radio

    Built-In HD Tuner: With its built-in HD Radio tuner, you can receive digital AM/FM broadcasts from local stations where available. HD Radio significantly improves AM/FM audio quality and reception, as well as includes information such as artist name and song titles or traffic news, viewable on the receiver's display. HD Radio Technology will deliver high-quality digital sound. AM digital will have FM-like quality in stereo (70dB SN @ 40-15kHz), while FM digital will have CD-like quality (75 dB SN @ 20-20kHz) with static free and clear reception. The unit's built-in HD Radio tuner allows analog AM/FM tuning as well.

    Note: HD Radio is the system for digital AM and FM broadcasting in the U.S. More than 2,000 radio stations are broadcasting their primary signals in digital HD Radio technology, as a free service. Go to to check for HD Radio stations in your area.

    Receive Mode: You can setup the KDC-X498 to receive both analog and digital radio stations (Auto), only HD Radio stations (Digital), or only analog radio stations (Analog).

    IF Band: You can switch the tuner's IF Band to Wide or Auto to increase/decrease the selectivity. The Auto setting increases the tuner selectivity to reduce interference noises from adjacent stations (stereo effect may be lost). The Wide setting decreases the tuner's selectivity which is subject to interference noises from adjacent stations, but sound quality will not be degraded and the stereo effect will remain.

    Station Text + Multicasting: AM/FM digital stations can offer text and data such as artist names and song titles.  In addition to conventional broadcasts, with HD Radio broadcasting it is possible to choose from up to 8 multicast programs (HD1 to HD8).

    Seek Modes + Direct Tuning: You can choose one of three seek modes: Auto 1 (seek tuning), Auto 2 (cycles through and tunes the selected band's preset stations only with each button press), or Manual. You can directly access an AM/FM station by entering in the frequency number using the include wireless remote control.

    Tuner Presets: The KDC-X498's tuner features 3 FM banks (1, 2, 3) and 1 AM bank for storing presets. Not only does the CD receiver's tuner allow you manually enter your desired presets you can choose to have the unit automatically put stations with good reception in the memory banks automatically; this is a handy feature when traveling. The Kenwood Excelon KDC-X498 offers two preset modes.

    • Normal: You can store 6 presets for each AM/FM bank giving you a total of 18 FM presets and 6 AM presets (total of 24).
    • Mix: A total of 6 preset stations can be assigned to the head unit's 6 preset buttons, regardless of AM/FM band. This lets you recall a preset station without switching between bands.

    iTunes Tagging: It is possible to save the song's information (tag) from and HD Radio broadcasting station to your USB-direct connected iPod/iPhone. The songs will show up in a playlist called "Tagged" in iTunes (7.4 or later) the next time you sync your iPod/iPhone. Then you can directly buy the songs you want from the iTunes Music Store. Your iPod/iPhone must have at least 50MB of free space to "tag" and transfer songs. You can "tag" up to 50 songs.

    Display Features

    Detachable Face w/ Hidden CD Slot: The Kenwood KDC-X498 features a hidden CD slot behind a manual flip-up cover which blends into the front-panel of the head unit. The KDC-X498 also features a detachable face to deter theft (no face case provided). An optional soft face case (142DFC1X, sold separately) can be purchased for this unit. A face-fixing screw is supplied for making the face non-detachable, if desired.

    Variable Color Illumination: The Kenwood KDC-X498 features variable color display and button illumination. You can choose from one of 24 preset colors, have the unit scan through all 24 preset colors continuously, or customize your own color (RGB; 0-9). The custom setting allows you to individually adjust the intensity of Red, Green, and Blue (from 0-9) to better match your vehicle's interior lights. The same color setting is applied to both the display and buttons. The Kenwood logo and eject button remain red.

    Brightness & Dimmer: You can dim the LCD and button illumination to better suit the time of day. You can adjust the maximum brightness of the LCD and button illumination from 0-31. The Kenwood logo and eject button do not dim.

    12Hr/24Hr Clock: The head unit can be set to display a 12hr or 24hr clock. The unit also displays the day (Sun, Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, or Sat). With your vehicle's key in the accessory or start position, the head unit continues to display the clock and button illumination during Standby mode. Pressing and holding the source button turns the unit off completely.

    Demo Mode: This unit features a Demo mode which can be turned On or Off within the menu.

    Remote Control

    Wireless Remote Control: The KDC-X498 comes with an IR remote control (RC-406) for wireless operation of the head unit. The remote will control Audio, CD, USB, and Tuner functions. It is powered by a single CR2025 3V lithium-cell battery (supplied).

    • Numeric Keypad: The wireless remote control features a numeric keypad (0-9) which allows direct track access of your music tracks & files (from CD or USB), as well as AM/FM presets.
    • Attenuator: The CD receiver features an Attenuator button on the supplied remote control that turns the volume down very quickly with one touch of the button.

    Steering Wheel Remote Compatibility: The head unit features an OEM steering wheel remote control input wire (blue/yellow) within the included wiring harness that lets you keep your vehicle's factory radio steering wheel remote controls when used with an optional steering wheel audio control adapter (sold separately). Please consult Crutchfield's Outfit My Car to see if your vehicle is compatible.

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    Q & A

    Customer Q&A

    3 questions already asked

    It is compatible with the iPhone 5s. You can find out specifics about the compatibility by clicking on the "Details" tab.[ Jeff  Sep 11, 2014 ]  Staff
    Sorry I only have an iPhone.[ MARIO  Jun 20, 2014 ]
    No, this deck can not connect to an Android cell. You can listen to your playlist only if connect the headphone port with the aux on the receiver[ Vladimir  Jun 20, 2014 ]
    I don't know. Have not used either. Sorry[ CHARLES  Jun 20, 2014 ]
    Not well. The Android app that is supposed to work with this unit requires your phones memory to be viewed as "mass USB storage" which most do not do.If you look at the reviews for this app on the Google Play store you will see numerous one star reviews with the comment "Does not work on my phone". I have an HTC one and it would not work with this deck. The only way I have been able to go straight from my phone to this unit is through a 3.5 mm headphone cable run from the phone to the unit and there is a serious drop in audio quality. If you want to connect an Android phone, I would not recommend this unit.[ RICHARD  Jun 20, 2014 ]
    It will play through the auxiliary port, but is not recognizedby the usb port except to charge.[ BRIAN  Jun 20, 2014 ]
    Yes. I have an iPhone 5s but my kids have android phones and there's work just fine. You should have no problems.[ DANA M  Jun 20, 2014 ]
    1/8 inch will work[ JOHN  Apr 14, 2014 ]
    3/16" heatshrink worked great on all my connections. If I remember correctly, the leads were a mix of 18 and 16 gauge.[ Robert  Apr 10, 2014 ]
    I believe 18 to 24 gauge[ David  Apr 09, 2014 ]
    i had someone else install unit so not sure i would guess it was either 16 or 18 gauge though. sorry not to be more helpful.[ CHARLES  Apr 09, 2014 ]
    I do not know the exact gauge, but I used the 3/16 heat shrink tubing on mine.[ RICHARD  Apr 09, 2014 ]